Step 8- 426 Z3's at Homecoming
Registration was a blur. I remember hugging Steve and Ann Borsse, (he noted later my distinct road aroma). There were too many people and cars I wanted to see, I was on overload. I admit, I hid in my room and had room service and a well deserved much needed bath.
JonT and the rest of the Shaggers arrived late. Michael Wand was missing. I went to bed around 2am and he still wasn't in. He was supposed to arrive by midnight. Nothing to do but wait.
At 630am I heard from MW- he had just gotten in. He had had an double feature adventure getting to Homecoming. Bad seafood from a restaurant in Savannah kept him barfing every few hours en route and the South Carolina state police decided that his companions were carrying cannabis and searched their cars at a rest stop. I wonder if MW was puking while they searched his car.
I looked out my window around 8am and found these folks washing their babies:
We had to rush to finish on Friday morning as we were given a ticket to the driving school from John (don't remember his last name). He had dislocated his right shoulder or elbow (don't remember which) earlier in the week and decided that he couldn't take the school.
I/we hadn't signed up but were delighted to take his place.
Friday it was hot. Too hot for me. I found Amy Lester and the volunteers waiting for a tent to be delivered for them in the hot sun. I was sooooo happy when she said she had enough volunteers and I disappeared into the nice cool Zentrum.
I took my tour in the plant and was surprised that the people at the factory remembered me from last year. These people are amazing. The truth is that when I go through the factory tour I don't really understand what I am seeing. I go anyway.
I did the driving school after and again, it was ridiculously hot. I don't take the heat well, so every time they had us out of our cars on the asphalt to talk to us, my mind went numb and I heard very little. I heard that we were supposed to drive around 20-21 mph on the skid pad, ASC on and then off and I had done that at the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience (UDE) in Bensalem, PA in August, which was great. When it was my turn I couldn't find the ASC switch and rolled down my window for the instructor to show me, then I couldn't get the power window "up" function until the sprinkler on the course doused me, the car's interior and the instructor. Oops.
I saw a classmate spin out on the grass so I really tried to keep the car straight even without the ASC, I don't know if we were supposed to be pushing harder. I didn't think I had learned much more than I had at the UDE, but later I changed my mind.
Unfortunately for me, the rest of my class was pretty tame on the Autox route, I kept hanging back so that Emmy would have some room to run. Very hard to keep from turning back and running it once by myself.
Steve Borsse writes:
"Ann scared me a few times because she was bound and determined to pass the guy in front of her on the big section of track. She's a damn good driver with me coaching! Ha! All I kept yelling was: 'FASTER, FASTER, FASTER, why did I just spend twelve hundred dollars for the Dinan strut brace, chip, and cold air intake, USE IT!! USE IT !!!!' Boy, and she did! (;"
Step 9- Wash the Babies
My room had a view of the pool and car washing areas and from morning until night there were folks out there washing. I finally got my shot at 5pm. Racing the clock I washed the girl fairly well. I caught up with more pals there. MW and Bruce and his Dad and JonT and Keith (Z3 Solution) yakkitayakitayakyakyak wash wash scrub scrub run run bathe bathe dress dress.
Step 10- Peace and Promenade
I had one dress that was near the color of Emmy and wore it to the dinner. JonT and I were meeting up with Melissa (PA) and her dad John at the front of the Marriot and of course found more Z3er's congregating there. Bill Koff (Upgrade Corral) and Sean Smith led us to the feast. Again, I had not looked at a map since Nashville. BMW gave us another fabulous gift, a very nice insulated picnic sack stuffed full of dinner goodies and wine that says "Homecoming 99". It will look very nice on the blanket from last year :)
Eating was still difficult because I wanted to yak with all the new and old friends gathered there. Then I checked out the cars lined up on the main drag and of course, like anywhere, the parking lot is the best part.
BruceT and Marji showed me some of their upgrades in the parking lot but the best part was driving behind them back to the Marriot. Again those turned up chrome tips and a sexy rumble of their exhaust system, riding behind Carter on I-85.
A lotta traffic to be sure, even on the interstate and suddenly Carter jams on his brakes and then BruceT brakes and pulls to the left to avoid hitting Carter. Then I jammed on my brakes and heard that sound...
The sound I had not heard for a year but remember well. The sound of body panels and bumpers being crushed. It's kind of a crackling sound, like rice krispies.
I was thinking "It can't be me, it can't." But that is what I had thought last year. I was thinking, this time is different, I hear it but I don't feel that tug on my rear fender.
What had happened was some misadventures of 2 pickup trucks in front of Carter, one of whom forgot where he was driving and so just stopped.
I could still see my Shag Mag on my left rear fender in the side mirror and nothing unusual.
And then I saw the 2 cars behind me pull off the road. They had hit each other- and not me!
BruceT hit the gas and his Z3 sat back on it's rear and took off. It looked great.
I had to go to bed early once again because Saturday I had to be at the Photo early to pass out the forms.
1- The Cast/NYC, ~~
2- Pennsylvania, ~~
3- Buckeyes, ~~
4- Cin-cy, ~~
5-Midwest Z3ers @ The BMW Store, ~~ 6-Kentucky, ~~ 7-Nashville, ~~ 8-Dragon Morning @ John B's, ~~
YOU ARE HERE, ~~ 10- Homecoming Saturday, ~~ 11- The Trip Home, ~~